Emma Robinson
Emma Robinson
Posted 09 November 2022

Last-minute holiday tips from our retail CS experts

Topics: Black Friday

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2022 is here

Overwhelmed with holiday planning? You’re not alone. With lingering inflation, inventory challenges, and global economic uncertainty, this will be the most challenging Black Friday/ Cyber Monday season for digital marketers yet.

Many are predicting a cutback in consumer spending that could wreak havoc on Holiday shopping for Retailers globally. Yet other survey data shows that a majority of consumers plan on spending the same, or more than in 2021. Regardless of how shoppers respond to economic headwinds, the key to success for marketers this holiday season will be efficiency

So don’t fret – our experts are here to help! In addition to our handy Black Friday Cyber Monday Content Hub, we’ve assembled a list of the most common and pressing questions that marketers are facing in the lead-up to Black Friday / Cyber Monday below.

Our brain-trust of Client Success experts are here to provide the answers, best practices, and tips you need to be fully prepared and make the impact your organization needs this Holiday season. 

Q: With consumers getting bombarded by marketing messages from every direction, how can our brand stand out during the Holidays this year?

A: Ali

  • Let’s start with an astounding stat about how ecommerce has changed in the last few years. A recent survey revealed that 2 out of every 3 consumers plan on using their mobile device to shop this holiday season which represents a dramatic increase from pre-Covid findings. 
  • It’s well documented but worth repeating – your brand needs a mobile-first holiday approach. The wonderful thing about a mobile-first approach is that it allows you to use your imagination to unlock new ways to stand out amongst the pack.
  • So let your creativity shine! Here are some of my favorite fun & engaging ideas for how to differentiate yourself from the noise
    • Gamifying your content like Sweaty Betty
Sweaty Betty Black Friday Cyber Monday
  • Making sure your openers can’t look away like Joseph Joseph  
Joseph Joseph Black Friday Cyber Monday
  • Promoting other channels like Aurelia London 
Aurelia London Black Friday Cyber Monday

Q: With so much uncertainty, how should we define success during the holidays?

A: Liam

  • There is no doubt that we are facing global economic headwinds that are out of our control this Holiday season. Gartner recently released a study that found that one-third of consumers are planning to spend less this holiday season.  
  • With that said, we do control how efficient we are with our marketing spend. Being clear about what success means and looks like with all stakeholders is a winning recipe. Start with a baseline of the core metrics you evaluate all year (revenue per email, open rate, & click to conversion), but don’t be afraid to introduce new standards into your program.
  • If I were to focus on one metric, I’d pay particular attention to the repeat purchase rate this holiday season. Our data shows every 10% increase in repeat rate leads to a 4-6% increase in revenue over the next year. You likely gained a variety of new customers during Covid and especially during the last holiday season; marketers are in the perfect position to harness this opportunity to convert one-time shoppers into loyalists. Hold your team accountable and aim to increase your repeat rate every holiday season.
    • Spoiler alert: we are working on a trend analysis that’s comparing YoY metrics and last year we saw 66% of buyers during the holidays were repeat. Stay tuned for our post-holiday 2022 blog post to see how that rate changes during the upcoming holiday season.
  • Lastly, on the topic of KPIs – one reminder on open rates. We’ve seen iOS15 significantly inflate open rates since its release,  forcing marketers to use a combination of metrics to gauge success. Between this major change and the extraordinary circumstances of the changing economy over the last 3 years, it’s essential to align and educate all stakeholders on which KPIs define success and why this year.  

Q: What’s the one thing everyone forgets to do during the holiday blitz?

A: Thomas

  • Deliverability doesn’t take the holidays off! 
  • You will no doubt face pressure to utilize any tactic that can increase revenue during the Holidays. When it comes to email marketing, that can mean maximizing your reach and sending to your full subscriber list. 
  • This strategy represents a double-edged sword since it is both the best and worst time of the year to reach back out to your inactive list– best because consumers are on the lookout for deals; worst because you risk harmful deliverability issues due to hitting spam traps and inactive accounts at peak time. Deliverability issues can cause significant damage to your program when you can least afford it.
  • It’s critical to segment your list, not only to deliver content your customers will love but to protect your inbox placement and sender reputation during the holiday season.
  • If you are going to attempt to send to your inactive populations, we recommend taking any inactive email addresses, especially those you haven’t contacted recently and run them through a list verification service like AtData before you send a live campaign. This upfront investment will pay dividends by ensuring your revenue-generating machine continues to run smoothly.
  • Be sure to remind your executive team that Email still has the highest ROI for any digital channel – roughly $36 for every $1 spent.
  • Our deliverability pro, Alice Spencer, recently put together an extensive guide on avoiding deliverability issues this festive season. I highly recommend giving it a read here.

Q: How do we balance the market pressure to provide discounts with a desire to preserve the value of our brand equity?

A: Manuela 

  • The market pressure is significant this year.  Many Retailers are hoping to capitalize on price-conscious shoppers that want to get a head start on their holiday purchases. Holiday sales seem to move up every year on the calendar and this year is no exception. Target held their first holiday sale on October 6, several days earlier than in 2021.
  • It’s important to learn from last year and hone your strategies this year; what promotions drove the highest ROI, but also what segment of customers made purchases without an offer. 
  • Marketers don’t always have control over the discounts offered during the Holidays, so we understand if you find that your hands are tied. That said, you can prepare your teams to earn back any brand equity that may be lost after a season of deep discounts by checking out our guide for weaning yourself off discounting
  • It’s also worth noting that in the UK, there’s been a noticeable shift in retailers boycotting the chaos of this week altogether and/or putting a portion of profits toward charity. This provides a great opportunity to become a part of this trend and appeal to your audience in a way that isn’t all about offers. Your brand doesn’t have to follow the race-to-the-bottom with deep discounting. Patagonia is a great example of prioritizing “do-gooderism” over offering discounts and seeing little impact to revenue. 

Q: Where is the best place to reach my customers in 2022?

A: Alex:

  • Being able to orchestrate cross-channel marketing efforts to deliver experiences customers love will help you be the best gift-giver you can be. 
  • It’s more important than ever to reach customers in their preferred channel – which does not mean your content should be everywhere all the time; stand out by implementing both cross-channel frequency capping and product recommendations so your content is just-in-time for every customer. 
  • Embrace innovation and explore the use of emerging channels to put your brand on the front page and deliver a better experience for your customers. 
    • AR – Blend the digital & offline world together to enhance your customer’s understanding of how your products will enhance their lives. For some inspiration, check out these stunning retail examples from Perfect Corp
    • Tiktok – Earlier this summer, Tiktok released Shopping Ads allowing users to buy products in the app without opening a web browser to go to a separate eCommerce store.
    • Metaverse – Brands like Ralph Lauren are embracing the metaverse by partnering with video games and debuting collections on Roblox to broaden their audience and reach new customers. 
  • Driving memorable experiences and tailoring content and such is the gift that will keep giving long past the holiday season and into the new year. 

While there are a lot of things to consider when going into the holiday season, following these tips and continuing the conversation with our Client Success experts will help you maximize your efficiency and deliver exceptional customer experiences throughout the Holidays.  

In addition to these best practices, don’t forget to explore our Black Friday Cyber Monday Content Hub to help you sleigh the season!

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